Article published on the 2008-05-21 Latest update 2008-05-21 14:17 TU
The United Opposition said that activist Geronti Katsia was shot dead in western Georgia Tuesday.
Interior Ministry spokesman Shota Khizanishvili confirmed his death, but maintained that there was no link between the dead man and the election.
"The victim was an ordinary citizen...unfortunately there were attempts to use this incident for political purposes," he said.
Khizanishvili also confirmed several violent incidents at polling stations without going into further detail. The United Opposition said that several activists had been beaten.
Opinion polls predict that the election will be won by President Mikheil Saakashvili's United National Movement.
Walter Kaufmann, director of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Tbilisi, told RFI that there's "huge lack of trust and confidence among the political players in Georgia".
"There are quite a lot of cases of vote-buying and intimidation of candidates," he said. "And a big deal of populism instead of public debate which only deepens the gap between politicians and society."
21/05/2008 by Jan van der Made
Georgia is trying to get Western support in a row over two separatist regions backed by Russia - Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
2008-04-07 08:50 TU